May 15, 2017
Dr. Mark’s daily (left) and weekly (right) supplements! They include Methyl B12 (for the MTHFR genetic defect), TheraCurcumin (potent anti-inflammatory), high dose fish oil, carnitine (for energy), magnesium, probiotics, vitamin D, and more!
March 25, 2015
(This post is replicated from the blog site, www.UnderTheMonkeyBars.com, where Dr. Su was invited to be a guest blogger on March 25, 2015.)
Hi – my name is Mark Su. I’m a family medicine physician in Newburyport, Massachusetts, where I reside with my family. Christine has invited me as a periodic guest blogger, which I am certainly privileged and honored to be part of Under the Monkey Bars!
As a physician, I am passionate about educating and empowering my patients first and foremost, but also anyone who has the interest and motivation to take charge of their health. Regularly, I have patients and friends say to me, “I’m sure you hate it when people read stuff on the internet…” to which I always respond, “No, actually, I don’t mind it at all!” Why? Because although the internet can be a two-edged sword with both beneficial information and misinformation, I am a believer that over time, we are becoming more savvy at interpreting the information we glean from web surfing. We are recognizing what content is more valid or accurate, and what content is suspect or just plain false. Quite frankly, I’ve found my patients to be far more commonly on-target than misinformed from their internet reading to date, and I only expect that ratio to further improve.
– more “cutting edge” (i.e. functional medicine or genetic medicine oriented)
– more of a mix with alternative or lifestyle medicine (i.e. focus on the importance of nutrition, fitness, detox/cleanse practices)
– or exploring the deeper layers of what ultimately drive our healthcare decision-making processes: our life priorities and philosophies, our self identities, our perspectives on life and death, our fears, our loves.The world as we know it is constantly changing. The internet stands at the forefront of this principle. The medical community only stands to lose by fighting this. On the contrary, I’ve jumped in, embraced this evolution, and stand arms locked with those like Christine who can help others from a real-world, daily grind position of knowledge and experience, to empower our communities both local and distant.
December 5, 2014
One of our patients forwarded me a link today, from an NPR blog.
(or paste this link – http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2014/12/05/368736643/if-slow-is-good-for-food-why-not-medicine?sc=ipad&f=1001)
I’ll let the article’s text speak for itself, but suffice it to say, I found this perspective insightful, and reflective of the values upon which Personal Care Physicians was founded upon: 1) providing enhanced medical care to our patients by creating the appropriate time and space for communications, translating into a valuable relationship that fosters mutual trust between both patient and physician; and 2) creating opportunities to journey with our patients in lifestyle changes – the optimal “medical treatment”. Adequate nutrition, fitness, stress management, sleep/rest, and inner peace are counter-cultural to our commercialized, fast-paced generation, but by no means does this mean they are unachievable. So kudos to those in our patient community who have decided to care for themselves and attend to their well-being!, whether by simply joining this practice, or for confronting a health need, or perhaps even working on some of those more challenging areas of life with our health coach, Colleen, or our resident therapist and mindfulness/meditation guru, Dr. Swartz.
Thank you again for caring about yourself, and allowing us to journey with you in that process!
September 7, 2014
Sometimes, statistics and data can be very insightful. Recently, one of our patients posted an interesting graph on his Facebook page reflecting one such example:
(click the picture for a larger, more detailed view)
While this graph compares a whole century of evolution in medical care, encompassing a multitude of factors, most notably the discovery of antibiotics, the fact of the matter is that this graph can be summarized by a simple conclusion: causes of death have dramatically shifted over the last century from acute, infection-based conditions now to chronic, inflammatory disease-based conditions. Deaths due to infections have nearly evaporated from 53% down to a barely noticeable 3%, while the collective group of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease have ballooned from 18% to 73%.
What does this say about the health of society, and more importantly, what does this mean to each of us as individuals? We’ve done a good job at identifying and treating acute and potentially threatening infections. We’re living longer, and subsequently, we need to take better care of ourselves in areas that are harder to assess and harder to continuously be attentive toward. Because it’s now even less of a race and even more of a marathon, we need to pay continuous and disciplined attention to our form – to the basic fundamentals of our body and it’s performance, and not just react when emergent symptoms arise, which can commonly reflect a crisis point. Think about it: how do we measure “inflammation”, the now-understood common basis of heart disease, diabetes, and more? Sure, there’s the cardiac CRP blood test, but how accurate is this in truly assessing inflammation? And of course, historically, there’s profiling each individual’s risk factors – but just how helpful is this? And when do we really become more aware that inflammation is an issue? – commonly, it’s when we’re diagnosed with diabetes, a stroke, or a heart attack: the latter stages of disease. And thus, we arrive at this conclusion: it’s time to stop just giving lip service to “preventive medicine”, and actually put it into action.
So, what can we do? At a minimum, this should urge us to continue, or increase, our mindful nutrition and exercise habits. Eating healthily (fruits and vegetables; living foods rather than processed foods) and exercising regularly go a long, long way in keeping our bodies clean and optimally fueled. Further steps might include awareness and reduction of toxins that burden our bodies: cigarettes, alcohol, heavy metals from our water source or other foods (eg, mercury in certain fish), plastics in our food preparation or storage (eg, BPA in food containers), environmental influences at some of our workplaces, stress management (which may include relationship conflicts, internal conflicts, life circumstances of which we have less influence, etc), and more. Quantified diagnostic steps might include specialized functional testing: assessing our gut health ecosystem (healthy, balanced bacterial colonies? unwanted yeast or parasites? malabsorption or digestive deficiencies?), our micronutrient cellular energy-production processes (adequate anti-oxidants, B vitamins, and other minerals that allow our bodies optimal fuel for performance?), food intolerances/allergies, and hormonal imbalances (thyroid, adrenals, gonadal organs?).
At Personal Care Physicians of Greater Newburyport, we are dedicated to engaging with our patients to dig as deep as you are willing to go, and help you take whatever action you’re ready for at any given moment, allowing you to experience life to its fullest for as long as possible. Let’s make life less about avoiding disease and more about pursuing vitality!
July 20, 2014
During my final couple of weeks seeing patients at my previous office of employment, a patient who was aware of my pending departure asked me, “How old are you, Mark?” I responded, “I’m 40, why?” He gave me a wry smile and countered, with a pointed finger, “I knew it! As soon as I heard about you starting your own practice, and what it was about, I said to myself, ‘I bet he’s turned 40′.” He went on to explain that as a businessman, he has personally experienced, and witnessed in countless other colleagues, a phenomenon whereby, “By the time you hit 40, assuming you’ve been in your line of work for a number of years, you hit this crossroad where you know how things should be done, and how you want to do it. And if you’re not in that place, a lot of people figure out how to make that happen, and do it on their own.”
I was totally fascinated by this reflection. I was caught up in having one foot in one door, trying to finish my responsibilities with my employer, and having the other foot in another door, trying to set up my new practice. I was excited about what was to come, but way too busy to reflect on anything anywhere as substantive as what he described to me. But what he described hit me at the core and resonated like he was inside my head – like he knew me better than I knew myself.
Last Friday, our local Newburyport paper, The Daily News, provided a little spotlight on our practice, with some more details on our practice origins: http://www.newburyportnews.com/lifestyle/x1927868607/Doctor-at-the-door
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